Labor Day Weekend Stakes Run Down

Saturday

SARATOGA
Woodward (Grade 1)
$750,000; 3 Year Olds And Up
1 1/8 Miles

SARATOGA
Forego (Grade 1)
$500,000; 3 Year Olds And Up
7 Furlongs Continue reading

Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings

3 Year Old Males

1. I’ll Have Another – He’s still number one.  Only way he gets passed is if Dullahan or maybe Paynter wins the Classic.

2. Dullahan – Sorry Bodemesiter, but you just got passed.  Dullahan is still a ways from catching I’ll Have Another, but his win in the Pacific Classic was big time.

3. Bodemeister – Sad to see him go.  I think he could have been something really special.

4. Alpha – Jim Dandy and Travers winner…enough said.

5. Paynter – Moved him down a few notches, and he’s sick again.  Concerned about his future…

Sleeper: Fast Falcon – Very impressive in the Travers, can he consistently make that kind of run? Continue reading

Saratoga Report #6

3 Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Willy Beamin (NY) – You win two stakes in the same week, how can you NOT be the number one star of the week?  On Wednesday Willy Beamin won a New York bred stakes with ease, then TWO DAYS later comes back to win the Grade 1 King’s Bishop.  Now that is spectacular!  I’m sure there will be lots of speculation about how he did considering Rick Dutrow is his trainer, but Willy Beamin still deserves credit.  He was claimed for $25,000 and now he’s a Grade 1 winner!  It’s an incredible story, and one that’s being overlooked because of all the big races that happened this weekend.  I, however, will not over look this accomplishment.  He’s the number one horse of the week, and I don’t consider there to be a close second.  Seriously, TWO STAKES WINS in the same week!  Unheard of in today’s racing.

– 2nd Star: Love and Pride (KY) – This is not a horse I expected to be one of the stars of the week, but the winner of Sunday’s Personal Ensign certainly deserves it.  I never considered Love and Pride to be honest, but she ran a great race winning in front running fashion.  She got a little help when It’s Tricky stumbled HORRIBLY out of the gate, and also was helped when Royal Delta didn’t fire her best race.  Regardless, it was a Grade 1 victory for Love and Pride, and also a free pass to the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic.  Also, she earned a solid beyer number of 100, which puts her in the same realm as some of the top females.  Love and Pride won’t be a favorite to win the Ladies Classic, but she’s certainly worthy of running in the race.

– 3rd Star: Alpha (KY) and Golden Ticket (KY) – The mile and one-quarter distance of the Travers couldn’t separate them, so how can I?  The race that had lost so much steam because of injuries, fevers, and defections sure did provided us with a thrilling race after all.  Golden Ticket ran the race of his life and looked to be the winner until the very end.  Alpha ran solid once again, and I think his name is one that can be considered among the top five three-year olds.  He’s been great in New York, and showed a lot of heart in catching up to Golden Ticket in the final strides.  I’m not sold on either one of these two as “elite” horses, but they’ve both proved to be solid when running their best races.  I hope both these horses remain sound, and move forward to face each other again.

– Honorable Mentions: Turbulent Descent, Sign, Contested, Optimizer, and Zagora Continue reading

Del Mar Report #6

3 Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Dullahan (KY) – Ok…Time for me to eat some crow.  I made it very clear weeks ago that I felt like Dullahan had no chance to win the Pacific Classic.  I laughed at the thought of him shipping across the country just to be an also ran.  Insert FOOT into MOUTH!  Wow was I wrong, and I’m man enough to admit it.  Dullahan was incredible an Sunday, winning the Pacific Classic in TRACK RECORD time.  He whipped the best older horses California has to offer, and to be honest it looked rather easy for him.  The classic distance is no problem for him at all, as it looked like he could run around the track for another lap!  Now the big question is…where does Dullahan go next?  Classic or Turf Classic?  Where will his prep race be?  Do they try him on dirt?  All are fun questions to think about, as this horse will quickly become the topic of many debates.  Congrats to Dullahan and all that cashed on him, this handicapper is humbled…at least for a day or two!

– 2nd Star: Obviously (IRE) – Obviously did everything he can to hold off a charging Mr. Commons in the Del Mar Mile, as he had to run it in record time to get the job done.  For much of the race this one looked like it was going to be a total blow out, as Obviously was way ahead from the rest of the field.  Mr. Commons came flying late making up a ton of ground, but Obviously won the head bob at the wire.  Both these horses were really sharp, and I think both can move forward and be contender in the Breeders Cup Turf Mile.

– 3rd Star: Game On Dude (KY) – Sure he finished second, but it was a solid effort by Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic.  He was beaten less than a length to a horse that set the track record, and moving forward he still is the favorite for the Breeders Cup Classic.  I’m not sure if it would have made a difference, but I felt he made his move a little earlier than he should have.  I’m not going to call it a horrible ride, but it’s certainly not one that will get Chantal Sutherland into the Hall of Fame.  Look for one more prep race for Game On Dude, then it’s on to the Classic. Continue reading

Pacific Classic (Grade 1) Preview

Game On Dude Looks to Capture the Pacific Classic

Free Past Performances

Racing Dudes Picks

Win – #9 Game On Dude

Exacta – 9,7/ALL

Trifecta – 9,7/9,7/ALL

Horse to use in Vertical Wagering – 1,3,7,9 Continue reading

Travers Stakes (Grade 1) Preview

Alpha Looks for a Jim Dandy – Travers Double

Free Past Performances

Racing Dudes Picks

Win –#5 Street Life

Exacta –5,6,9,10 boxed

Trifecta –5,6,9,10/5,6,9,10/5,6,7,8,9,10

Horses to use in vertical wagering – 5,6,8,9,10 Continue reading

The History of the Travers Stakes

Fastest Time: 2:00.00 – General Assembly

Most Wins By a Jockey: (4) – Jim McLaughlin, Eddie Arcaro, Braulio Baeza, Pat Day

Most Wins by a Trainer: (5) – Bert Mulholland

Most Wins by an Owner: (5) – Dwyer Brothers Stables, George D. Widener Jr., Rokeby Stable

Fun Fact: Only one horse has ever won the all there Triple Crown races and the Travers – Whirlaway in 1941. Continue reading

Saratoga Report #5

3 Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Questing (GB) – Not much needs to be said here, Questing was just incredible in winning the Alabama on Saturday.  She is now the top three-year filly in the country, and with the health of Bodemeister and Paynter being in question, she might be the top three-year old period right now.  There is no doubt in my mind she’d win the Travers this weekend.  Her beyer number came back as a 106, which is a faster number than I’ll Have Another ran when going a mile and one-quarter.  The sky is the limit for Questing, lets all hope she’s stays happy and healthy.

– 2nd Star: Point of Entry (KY) – I feel a little sorry for Point of Entry because his performance in the Sword Dancer was overshadowed by Questing, but it should not be.  Talk about a dominating effort against a field that most thought to be fairly balanced.  Point of Entry won the Sword Dancer by four lengths.  He basically stalked the pace, and crushed them all down the stretch.  His win earned a speed figure of 103, which is right on line with Little Mikes winning number in the Arlington Million.  The win was his fourth in a row, and second Grade 1 victory.

– 3rd Star: Stephanie’s Kitten (KY) – Stephanie’s Kitten showed tremendous class when winning the Lake Placid (Grade 2) Stakes on Sunday.  She hadn’t raced in almost a year, but still was able to fire a brilliant return as she found room to run late in the race and barreled home to a convincing half-length victory.  She’s now won five out of nine races, with three of those wins coming against graded company.  It’s safe to say she’s back in full force, so look for to have a big fall campaign.  Perhaps a trip to the Breeders Cup will be in the cards. Continue reading

Del Mar Report #5

3 Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Lady of Shamrock (KY) – This one was an easy choice for first star of the week.  Lady of Shamrock won her second straight Grade 1 race Saturday when rallying from last to first in the Del Mar Oaks.  The final margin of victory was only a half-length, but there was no doubting she was much the best in this race.  Considering she also had to go six wide to begin her stretch rally, it made the win even more impressive.  It’s obvious Lady Shamrock can go any distance you ask her too as well.  She has now won six of ten races, with three of those being Graded Stakes wins.

– 2nd Star: Winding Way (KY) – Three in a row, and counting!  Winding Way had an eventful start to the race, but finished strong.  She turned her head, hesitated, hopped, and broke  behind the field in the Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Sunday, but still overcame all of it, and got up to win her first Graded race by a half-length.  The win was her second in a row at the six and one half furlong distance, and will most likely propel her to a race against even stiffer competition next time out.

– 3rd Star: Lady Ten (KY) – By Bob Baffert standards Del Mar has been a slow meet, but Lady Ten was able to grab a stakes win for him Friday in stylish fashion.  Lady Ten showed tremendous heart in winning the Sandy Blue Handicap.  She stalked the lead for most of the race, took a short lead in the stretch, and then battled between horses to squeak out a neck victory.  I’m not sure how talented this horse is, but any horse that lays it on the line like that should be applauded.  It was her third lifetime win, and first stakes win of her career. Continue reading